Biographies: Bleecker Family Tragedy
Gloversville, Fulton County, NY

Note: This family is NOT related to either my own or Marie Lamb. - Site Coordinator

Site visitor Marie Lamb recently brought this tragedy to my attention. She sent in a photo of the following gravestone and wondered what had happened to this family. Note that all 5 members of this family died on the same day!


(Click on Image to Enlarge)

This gravestone is located in the "Jewish Cemetery" in Gloversville. One of the entrances is located off of Woodward Avenue.

BLEECKER

Beloved Benjamin, Died Nov 7, 1937, Age 23 years, Son
Beloved Samuel, Died Nov 7, 1937, Age 25 years, Son
Dear Wife Sue Ginsburg, Died Nov 7, 1937, Age 27 years, Daughter
Beloved Ida, Died Nov 7, 1937, Age 57 years, Mother
Beloved Meyer, Died Nov 7, 1937, Age 59 years, Father

On the back: MAY YOU ALL REST IN PEACE

From census and immigration records we find the following:

Meyer Bleecker was born about 1881. He resided in Wilna, Russia and married Ida about 1905. They were both Jewish. Ida was born in Wilna about 1880. On 27 Jan 1906, Meyer arrived in NYC on the ship Campania from Liverpool (under the name Meite Blecher, age 20). Listed in this record is a relative/friend Max Blecher of Spotswood (NY?) to whom he's going.

Perhaps he knew when he left that his wife was pregnant, or perhaps not. Their first child, Helena, was born in Wilna about 1906/7. Ida (under the name Chaje Blecher, age 30) and Helena (age 3) arrived in NYC on 6 Dec 1909 on the ship Lapland sailing from Antwerp via Dover. Ida was 5 foot, 3 inches tall and of fair complexion, dark eyes and hair. The record states that she was joining her husband Meier Blecher in Gloversville, NY.

The family shows up in the 1910 census record in Gloversville under Miar, Hydra and Helen Bleker. It appears that Helena died between 1910 and 1920 as she is not with the family in the 1920 census. The family is in Gloversville in the 1920 and 1930 censuses.

Meyer and Ida had 3 more children all born in NY (likely born in Gloversville):

    Helen Bleecker, born about 1907 in Poland, died before 1920?
    Susie Bleecker, born about 1911 in NY
    Simon/Samuel Bleecker, born about 1913 in NY
    Benjamin Bleecker, born about 1914 in NY

The following article about their tragedy was found on the Old Fulton Postcards site.

Citizen Advertiser, Auburn, NY, 8 Nov 1937
(abstracted)

181 Killed in Highway Accidents

Week-end Takes Toll of 20 in This State Alone
Fatalities Show Climb Over Last Year

By the Associated Press

Sudden death took no weekend holiday for America's motoring millions.

At least 181 persons were killed in highway accidents - 18 0f them in three spectacular crashes in each of which the toll was six lives. Twenty persons were killed in New York State alone.

...

Albany, Nov. 8 - (AP) - Accidents in upstate New York took a toll of at least 20 lives over the week-end, 17 being killed in automobile mishaps.

Six persons, including five members of a Gloversville family, died when their sedan and a truck collided at Rhinebeck, N. Y. The dead:

    Meyer Bleecker, 53.
    Mrs. Meyer Bleecker, 52.
    Mrs. Joseph Ginsburg, 27, their daughter.
    Simon Bleecker, 25, a son.
    Benjamin Bleecker, 23, a son.
    Harold Posessky, 36. **

The Bleecker party was going to New York City to attend the wedding of Mrs. Bleecker's niece when the accident occurred.

...

Susie's husband, Joseph Ginsburg, was likely the son of Louis and Rosa Ginsberg of Gloversville. His family was also Jewish. Joseph was born about 1908 in NY. His parents along with their 4 oldest children immigrated to this country about 1906 (his father perhaps coming first about 1905 and wife and 4 children a year later). Joseph was the first child born in NY.

"I'm wondering if the husband of 'Dear Wife Sue Ginsburg' was the one who had "May You All Rest in Peace" written on the tombstone and had them all buried together." - Marie Lamb

If you know anything further of this family, please contact me!


** 3/29/2015 - from Judy Madnick - a site visitor:

I have just a minor correction to the page regarding the Bleecker-family tragedy -- http://fulton.nygenweb.net/bios/BleeckerMeyer.html. The name listed as "Posessky" should be "Pozefsky."

We were at the Knesseth Israel Cemetery today and saw the Bleecker headstone. Due to the coincidence of their common deaths, I did a Web search and found your page briefly describing the accident. Being familiar with the Pozefsky name in Gloversville, I was also curious to see whether, in fact, "Posessky" was actually "Pozefsky," which I saw it was. I must say that the newspaper article at www.fultonhistory.com was very graphic regarding the injuries.

My husband is from Gloversville, so we're always interested in various aspects of Gloversville history.

 

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